Paradise awaits Chloee Agueda.
The thought of what’s ahead for the East Union senior keeps her optimistic in these trying times. Agueda is doing what she can to stay sharp with the rest of her final season with the Lancers terminated just five games in.
The good news for the power-hitting corner outfielder is there are some meaningful softball games in her future — two months ago; she signed to play for Hawaii.
“It has actually taken a big affect on me,” Agueda said of her shortened senior season. “You work so hard for your senior year and plan to leave everything out on the field. I’m still trying to put the work in at home somehow.
“I think because I’m going to Hawaii I have to have that positive mindset. That’s one thing that’s really sticking with me. I have to remember that even though I don’t get a senior year, I’ll have a brand new four years to look forward to.”
Her rosy outlook and persistence are what helped land her a spot with the Rainbow Wahine.
In the eighth grade, she targeted Hawaii as her “dream school” and began to email longtime coach Bob Coolen. Agueda kept firing off the emails even though went unanswered. She finally got a response late in her sophomore year.
“I think it was just the millions of emails I sent,” she said. “I guess it was getting tiring for him.”
Then Agueda absolutely busted out as a junior and earned Offensive Player of the Year in the Valley Oak League. In 12 league games, she batted .700 and got out just 12 times as East Union finished as runner-up behind Oakdale.
Overall for 2019, Agueda led the Lancers in most offensive categories — average (.517), hits (31), runs (29), homers (five), RBIs (25), walks (19), on-base percentage (.638) and slugging percentage (.866) — while playing perfect defense, mostly from right field (22 put-outs, four assists, no errors).
It was a big turnaround from her sophomore campaign when she struggled with confidence, batting .298 with 14 hits, 10 runs and seven RBIs.
“My whole mindset completely changed,” Agueda said. “I kind of just relaxed, tried not think so much and let my abilities come out. The big thing was for me to not focus on the bad.”
That attitude carried over this season even as the Lancers started 2-3. She believed her club could still vie for a Sac-Joaquin Section championship. The three losses were competitive games against top teams — Modesto ended the season 10-0, Bear Creek won 25 games last year and Golden Valley was the team that knocked East Union out in the second round of the SJS Division III playoffs.
“Our goal was to work hard, and we did do that until our season got cut off,” Agueda said. “We wanted to try and prove everyone wrong and get that blue banner this year.”
While disappointed to not have the chance to do so, she’s mostly upset that her time with the team ended so abruptly.
“They make it really fun,” Agueda said. “I think our team chemistry was really good. I think what I miss out on the most is the memories I could have made with the coaches and the girls on the team.”